Category : Entrepreneurism

Entrepreneurism Journal

What keeps you going when all odds seem stacked against you?

The Climb Jason Vitug

Got this email – “So what keeps you going when all odds seem stacked against you?”

Whenever the stacks seemed bent to defeat me or topple over and crush me I move away from it. It doesn’t mean the barriers and the lows aren’t there but I focus to use my energy on improving and growing instead. Of course, I could sit around and do absolutely nothing and make tons of excuses as to why something hasn’t work or why it won’t work.

I’ve learned in the course of my life that “trying” is always better than sitting around “thinking.” The benefit of entrepreneurship or small business owner or what have you is the ability to do what you need and want combined to reach a specific goal. Of course if you want to sit around and watch TV (because that’s what you want to do) instead of hustling, networking or taking action (which you need to do) than of course nothing happens.

It reminded me of what someone said once that it seems like I do a lot of guesswork. Well yes I do because if there was one plan to be a successful entrepreneur everyone would know about it. What I do are calculated and fit within the scope. I’m not afraid to try something, learn something nor fail at something. I could once again sit watching TV (I don’t btw but do have Netflix playing as I work) hoping for something to happen and never realize I haven’t done anything to make anything happen in the first place.

Even the highest and toughest mountain to climb seems insurmountable but it just takes one step to get closer to the peak. Stumble you will and crawl you must but keep going. If the path is blocked then go around it.The Climb Jason Vitug

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Entrepreneurism

Have I truly failed if I’ve grown?

Growing Jason Vitug

A good start to the weekend. I did a podcast interview today which lasted close to an hour and a half. It was enlightening and refreshing.

If you really want something bad enough you have to keep going for it. It’s easy to procrastinate and easy to make excuses of why something hasn’t work or can’t work. The most valuable thing we posses in this world is time. It’s limited and can’t ever be bought back regardless of how much money is made or raised.

We’re often so afraid to take on risk or do something we’re uncomfortable with because of fear. So we react with negativity rather than a way to grow. We might even ignore the signs so we don’t have to deal with it. Nothing in this world is guaranteed but the one thing we can control is our effort to achieve results.

If we truly want something we go for it. No one is going to stop us until we’ve decided for ourselves that the effort isn’t worth the potential reward. That’s not giving up. That’s a decision based on personal growth and experiences.

If we truly don’t want something we make up excuses as to why our life is different and situation more difficult. The success of another is purely based on luck. This self destructive thought keeps us from achieving and growing.

If you want something done you have to go after it. Along the way you might be lucky to find a person or more that share your values and propel you to move forward faster. It’s never guaranteed they’ll stick with you to the end either.

I finished the podcast by restating a question I get asked once in awhile, “so what happens if you fail?” I actually don’t even think of failure as an endpoint.

My answer to that question has always been, “I’ll be okay.”

I’m vastly more knowledgeable now and have attained more skills useful for the future. Have I really failed if I’ve grown in skills, network and as a person? Even if Phroogal were to somehow not manifest as I envisioned I come out of it a stronger being.

I’ll keep everyone up to date when the podcast airs in the next month or so.

Additional Interviews on Mint.com > Expert Interview on Financial Success and Talking About Money with Jason Vitug for Mint

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Entrepreneurism Journal

Reassess and Recharge

Focus

I must have only slept a few hours but I feel rejuvenated. I spent a good deal of time on Saturday in deep thought and meditation. I do this pretty often to give myself some time to reflect. Have gratitude for the things I have and clear focus for the things I desire.

Most of my thoughts revolve around Phroogal but they have begun to drift into other aspects of my life. I realized something about myself that regardless of what situation I am in – I am a workaholic. I have accomplished many things in life – professionally and personally – but I drive myself hard. I am definitely more critical of myself and expect a lot. So I work harder to deliver them and can push myself too thin.

I asked myself, “Why am I doing what I’m doing?” and “How does it add value to my life, to others and the world?”

I am a dreamer and big vision holder. I will work on the details and roll-up my sleeves. But, if there is one thing I learned while backpacking is that I need to always take a step back and reassess.

Things will continue to work out as they have and getting bogged down in the mundane only leads itself to discontentment. I’ve always been civic and social minded. Entrepreneurship does test your limits because most of the push is in profitability. I’ve never been driven by money and that’s helped me continue to push through all my dreams. The money does follow and the moment I focus on it the moment the enjoyment dissipates.

It’s 8 months in 2013 and time surely does fly. I can’t change the speed of time but I can change what I do while it ticks along. There is still a lot that needs to get done with Phroogal. There is still many ways to make an impact in this world. There is time to have fun in every aspect of what I do.

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Entrepreneurism

My First Post of 2014 and My First Published Book

Crowdfunding Jason Vitug

Time sure does fly when you’re having fun!

I decided to finally update my personal website after releasing my first book on Amazon. It’s been quite successful hitting #1 on Best Seller (Free) for Startups and Entrepreneurship over the weekend. It’s now on the paid section and still doing quite well. Writing a book has been in my bucket list for years with a couple failed attempts. I have a couple book manuscripts in my Google Drive with thousands of words but never kept the motivation to finish them.

Crowdfunding A Bootstrapped Startup

So what made me finally write a book?

Since successfully crowd funding Phroogal back in October 2013, I continuously receive emails and requests on some lessons learned. Eventually, it gets more difficult to find the time as Phroogal continues to grow in leaps and bounds. The bulk of the work in building Phroogal is still done by a small team of 3 and I often find myself working 18 hour days. I still wanted a way to pay it forward so with the help of a ghostwriter and editor I was able to get a book completed.

I figured the best way to help others was to write a book about the experience with some lessons learned and tips. I wrote the book with my perspective hoping to give the reader a peek into what it was like in the crowd. It was also an extension of gratitude for the 541 supporters who made it possible. Ten months later, we’ve made strides with our promise on building Phroogal and we’re still working hard to deliver on our mission.

Crowdfunding Jason Vitug

Anyhow, the book is titled, “Crowdfunding a Bootstrapped Startup: How We Hacked Our Way to Success.” It’s an account of the days before, during and after our Indiegogo campaign thattook place back in September-October 2013 that led to successfully raising $78,501 in 30 days with the help of 541 supporters.

To purchase a copy of the book on Amazon click here.

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Entrepreneurism

Learning more about the “self” through crowd-funding.

Phroogal Successful Crowdfunding

It wouldn’t be me if I didn’t take the time to self-reflect on our first and successful crowd funding attempt. It’s one of those things that become second nature to me after doing the 9-5 ok 60+ hour daily work grind to backpacking around the world in 2012.

We were successful. We raised $78,501 of our $75,000 goal. Check the campaign here. http://igg.me/at/phroogal

Phroogal Successful Crowdfunding

Crowd-funding is a relatively new arena to fund a project. I decided early this year that I wanted to take on this challenge. My co-founder, Max, made it a reality taking on the leading role. First thing first about crowd-funding is to do your research. I’ll eventually write more about what I learned on how to run a successful campaign. But, today, I’m going to share the human side.

If I learned a few things during the past 30 days are these:
1) Stay motivated. No matter how difficult the goal might be keep working your best to get there and know that there are people that will help you along the way. You just have to ask.

2) Stay positive. There will always be people who are negative forces in your life. Just know every time you encounter one, they come at the right time to give you that extra fuel to get closer to your goal. They are not bad people. Just focus on the supportive positive ones.

3) Stay grateful. Many were loud champions for our success. Many others silently cheered us on. I am forever grateful. It’s these people that you want to keep close in your circle.

4) Stay present. Moments go by so quickly. It’s so easy to get bogged down with “tasks and todos.” Take the time to say hello, to respond to that email, message and phone call. It really does matter.

5) Stay open. Strangers do not make time for you because they do not know you or want to know you. People you know do not make time for you because you aren’t a factor in their existence. Keep in mind that the best way to to be supportive of someone is by acknowledging and being aware of them.

Finally, just really believe in yourself and do whatever you can to make it happen. It’s not impossible, difficult yes, but the best way forward is taking the first step.

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Entrepreneurism

Reflections of the Crowd

Phroogal Indiegogo

I’ve contemplated putting myself out there to raise money through the “crowd.” It’s definitely been an emotional ride. I’ve been so busy working on the product and updating the Phroogal Blog I haven’t had time to post any of my reflections on my personal blog.

It’s been quite the roller coaster ride the past 2 months. I finally found myself a co-founder who completely believes in my vision and my ability to make it happen. We’ve gotten a lot done in the past month. I’ve been juggling working with my programmers overseas, building relationships, marketing and now fundraising. It’s a 24-hour ordeal.

I share the highlights with many people on social and share the lows with a select group of people. Keeping motivated is something that I never had a problem with but I’ve never really put myself out there for “public failure.”

I guess building a website for people could totally fail and I could fall flat on my face. But, the “public failure” I am talking about is asking people to help me achieve something such as raising money on Indiegogo. I look at not meeting the goal as completely failing in explaining how I plan to make their lives easier.

I’ve been nervous but in many ways a good nervousness if there is such a thing. I’m learning a lot about myself and a lot about people in general. I thought after traveling the world I knew myself well but that isn’t true. You get tested when you actually start asking people for help. It’s a test because its a reflection of how people see you or believe in you. Of course, I learned in my travels that the only person’s opinion that matters is my own.

Since launching Indiegogo and directly asking people for their assistance, I’ve gotten some really amazing words of encouragement and negative feedback. Everything from inspiring them with my spirit to “trying to make money off friends/family.” The negative comments are far and few in between but they do weigh on me.

I’ve poured my heart, soul, tears, dollars and hours on Phroogal. Much more than people think and so when someone takes the stance or shares their opinion without all the facts, I get pretty emotionally defensive.

I’ve been sending email, facebook messages, tweets and smoke signals to everyone that I have ever met. The overall reception of theses messages have been positive. I have received a few that were offended I was asking for help when I didn’t help them. My response has been pretty standard, “If you never specifically asked me for help, then I wouldn’t have known you needed help from me.” I’m specifically asking for help and whether you can or cannot it’s always better to respond. We all hate being ignored and I think I’d prefer getting a “No. Good-luck.” which I have than never knowing.

I realize that success doesn’t occur in a vacuum. It takes people to believe in me and help me make it happen. In return I hope I help people get closer to their version of success. I am building Phroogal for me there is no mistake about it but I am doing it with a cause in mind.

I truly believe that financial stress is a big issue for myself, family, friends and strangers. This idea has been formulating inside my head for many years and its beginning to take root. I was scared to take a chance and risk it. I could be working at a company right now making $150K+ doing the daily grind but instead I chose to surf through couches and build Phroogal. Thank you family and friends who’ve shared their homes with me.

I chose to hop on this entrepreneurial roller coaster. No one made me do it but I just feel it in every fiber of my being. I see it so clearly. Do you ever just believe in something so much you can’t sleep cause all you want to do is spend the hours making it happen.

The road for Phroogal is still long. I think about all the phases and the path we are taking. I want to take this time to thank all of you who have supported me thus far and all those who remain silent rooting for me.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. <3 XO Jason

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